Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
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We went looking for 'Pania of the Reef' and found false teeth instead

Robyn Wilson wrote a recap about her trip to Napier for a LIANZA Ikaroa meet and greet event. 

I got picked up from Palmerston North Public Library at 11am on Tuesday 11th of April by Elisabeth Marrow who had driven from Manaia (err that's somewhere near Eltham by New Plymouth) and we were off to Napier for a LIANZA Ikaroa meet and greet event. 

"Hurry up!" Lis was trying to hurry me up -not put money in the parking meter as I discovered. I had been working on our ANZAC quilt…making sure all the poppies had been attached correctly.

Out to the car, turn left,  go up there…out of Palmy now and away on a road trip.  What a wonderful way to get to know our Ikaroa regional councillor.  Amongst lots of laughter, I discovered Lis is an op shopper… brilliant!  We stopped in Dannevirke for lunch, no one came to help us in the rather dark restaurant, so we went for a walk and found the most amazing second hand shop.  The gregarious owner chatted to us and I discovered a jar of fabulous kilt pins for my ‘stash’.  Upon leaving the shop, Lis noticed a display of false teeth for sale-it was so supremely awful we got the hysterical giggles.

A bit down the road we found a lovely, arty café. The lovely stop was thoroughly enjoyed by both of us. Reasonably priced and good portions.

Push onto Napier.. following my directions we easily found EIT.  Well, will you look at that, we are over half an hour early.  So that translated to a quick sticky beak at an op shop and the craft shop in Taradale.

Time to find the  EIT library, found a spot in the carpark but no sign for the library.  So we ring Andy ( trades tutor whom we stayed with that night).  Andy comes out and rolls his eyes as we can’t find the library and very kindly shows us the way, with much cheek from his work mates.

A lovely library team leader shows us the way upstairs to the meet and greet room, where we find Joanna Matthew-LIANZA Executive Director.  A wee bit later the participants of the ‘Desgin Thinking Workshop’ with Denise Wilson arrived.  Poor Denise had a look of stunned disbelief at seeing me. Denise has done much consultation at Palmerston North City library and thought she’d gone through a portal to a parallel universe upon seeing me.

Food, wine, librarians in their natural place chattering.  Some serious food for thought came out of the chatter with these ladies.  Lis and I talked further to Joanna once every one had left.  You should be seeing more events being organised by Ikaroa

The ladies had told us of large murals painted on building walls in Napier central.  So off Lis and I drive in the vague direction of Napier central.  By luck (rather than map skills) we found the CBD…hmm murals are hard to locate.  There she is- Pania of the Reef in glorious technicolour on the side of a multistory building.  Around another corner we found a smaller mural with penguins and the little yellow digger.

Ok, our stomachs were talking…off to Andy's place for the night.  Total chaos rulled at his house with a small, scruffy happy dog racing madly around the house.  It is particularly fond of attacking a dead plastic bottle when the afore mentioned bottle is not looking.

Scrummy food and wine and great conversation and off to bed.

Oh my god! Andy goes to the gym first thing in the morning -I was awake a 6am!!!  After a natter Lis and I were on the road by 7.30am.   we had breakfast the Blueberry cafe in a lovely old church near Te Aute  boarding school.  An absolute delight of a place, interesting, friendly and great food.

Pressing on we hit the road again.  The weather was starting to deteriorate as we got  closer to the Manawatu.  Lis decided it was imperative that we visit the Viking second hand shop in Woodville, falling into conversation with the owner (dressed as a Viking complete with long beard) we discovered in a former life he had been a school librarian!

We drove into Palmerston North straight round to my place.  Bartlby , ginger cat, looked up like an unmade bed and said 'oh your home then. I was asleep".  Obviously my sister had fed and adored him within an inch of his life while I was away.

What a brilliant way to get to know Elisabeth Marrow our Ikaroa regional coucnillor.  I look forward to many planning sessions and great times. 

By Robyn Wilson. 

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